Press release for immediate distribution

Legendary DownBeat magazine devotes a 16-page insert to the “Best of the Fests”

Montreal, Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - In its October 2009 edition, bearing the signatures of influential jazz journalists and critics Ed Enright, Michael Bourne, Joshua Jackson and Michael Jackson, highly respected DownBeat magazine paid the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal a very special tribute, describing it as the jazz festival par excellence:Bigger! Better! Best, actually…

A 16-page insert was dedicated to the big Montreal event, a first in the magazine’s history. It recounts the highlights of the Festival’s 30th anniversary through the words of some of the biggest-name performers featured at that edition, as well as its past and future through an interview with artistic director André Ménard, not to mention the latest novelties-including the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan-through an interview with Festival president, Alain Simard.

Joshua Redman features on the cover page and in a long article by editor-in-chief Ed Enright. Readers learn that the California composer and saxophonist had one of his very first professional gigs on the Festival stages alongside his father in 1991. The article also tells how Redman, who regards the Festival’s audiences as really fantastic, was totally thrilled when 18 years later he was offered the chance to present a bold series of three exploratory concerts. Lastly, the insert includes a question-answer interview by reporter Michael Jackson with pianist, composer and performer Patricia Barber. It sheds light on the artist’s impressions of her Montreal stints and incidentally reveals some of her backstage adventures at the Festival.

In total, DownBeat devotes 16 pages of articles, interviews and photos to the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, a truly exceptional tribute to the event, which, after 30 years in existence, is unanimously acclaimed as indispensable by the international music community.

“It’s the greatest jazz festival in the history of the world”, said Tony Bennett at the local restaurant Pizzedelic after his sixth performance at FIJM. “They’re the greatest audiences. I could’ve sung until 6 in the morning and they would’ve stayed.” I’ve heard Bennett countlessly around the world, and he sings better in Montreal than anywhere.”

Michael Bourne, The Masters, DownBeat, October 2009


“”I love this festival, because it’s so big and so free,” says French trumpeter Erik Truffaz. “It’s a kind of feeling that people are cool. There is a big organization, but when people catch you at the airport they smile.” Openness is a part of the unspoken ethos among Equipe Spectra, the team behind the Montreal Jazz Festival. The bienvenue of cultural handshakes extends from personal communication to the meta role of creating programming monster with a set of shoes. It’s large, but it sure knows how to dance.”

Joshua Jackson, French Connection, DownBeat, October 2009

First published in Chicago in 1934 at the initiative of ex-saxophonist Albert J. Lipschultz, who at that time considered the eight-page newspaper to be the optimal way to reach and rally his clientele, (namely, musician), DownBeat magazine celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2009. To date, it remains one of the most prestigious monthly magazines devoted to jazz. It is distributed internationally, and is unanimously acknowledged worldwide as an authority on the subject.

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